BMW’s introduction of the new 6 Series Gran Turismo makes it abundantly clear that BMW doesn’t care about the term coupe or model lines that originally consisted only of coupes. The 6 Series line, which originally consisted of a 5 Series-sized coupe and convertible, will now comprise the convertible, the Gran Coupe four-door, this Gran Turismo hatchback, and no two-door coupe, since BMW killed it. Our issues with naming conventions aside, the 6 Series Gran Turismo does present the most practical take on the midsized BMW this side of a 5 Series wagon.
Visually, it really does look like a bigger hatchback version of the 5 Series sedan, especially from the front where the headlights and grille look very similar. The car itself is slightly taller and wider than the 5 Series, though. The extra height is certainly evident in the large greenhouse. It’s also significantly longer. The wheelbase of the 6 Series Gran Turismo is nearly four inches longer, and the overall length is greater by just over half a foot. This gives the rear passengers a few extra inches of legroom, and the hatch offers 31 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up. For comparison, the 5 Series sedan has a trunk with 18.7 cubic feet of space. Overall, the shape isn’t something someone would consider beautiful. In fact, one of our editors finds it plain ugly. Yet, it’s still a significant improvement over the tall, ungainly 5 Series Gran Turismo that preceded the 6. Buyers will also be able to tweak the look with 12 exterior colors, factory wheels 19 or 20 inches in diameter, extra chrome with the Luxury package, or a more aggressive body kit with the M Sport package.
While the outside of the 6 Series Gran Turismo simply looks related to the 5 Series, the interior looks like a direct copy. Seriously, we’ve compared shots of the sedan and the hatch next to each other, and we can’t spot any differences. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it means passengers will still be treated to a cabin with standard leather, automatic climate control, ambient lighting, and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The hatch also includes a standard panoramic sunroof. Adding the Luxury package also adds power recline adjustment for the rear seats, and the M Sport package adds a leather steering wheel and aluminum pedals.
Underneath the skin is more existing BMW technology. The 6 Series Gran Turismo will only be offered in a 640i trim level upon introduction. This means it will have a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 making 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The engine is coupled to an 8-speed automatic. BMW’s claimed 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds is slightly slower than the equivalent 540i sedan’s 4.9-second sprint. The engine is backed up by a double-wishbone front suspension and standard multilink air suspension in the rear. Adding the Dynamic Handling Package will also add air suspension to the front, adjustable ride height, Active Roll Stabilization, and rear-wheel steering.
The 6 Series Gran Turismo also comes packed with technology. In addition to various warning systems, the car comes with a number of semi-autonomous features including active lane-keep assist, side collision prevention, adaptive cruise control with stop and go assist, and something called Evasion Aid. This feature will provide steering assist during emergency evasive maneuvers, and will also help keep the car stable during said maneuvers. Automatic parking, and the remote parking control for moving in and out of tight spaces are also included.
If the idea of a midsize BMW hatchback sounds like your thing, you’ll be able to pick one up at a nearby BMW dealer this fall. It starts at $70,695. This is a substantial increase over the entry-level BMW 540i, which starts at just $57,445. That 540i also has the same powertrain as the 640i Gran Turismo. So you had better really like the look and versatility of the hatch.